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American Heart Association's Top 10 Heart-Healthy Foods

Nov 28, 2017 09:19PM ● Published by Melanie Heisinger

Photo by Jannis Brandt

During American Heart Month in February, make an extra effort to incorporate more heart-boosting foods to your diet, and then continue that beneficial habit through the rest of the year.

Here are 10 of the top choices:

1. Salmon and other fatty fish such as sardines and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, shown in studies to lower the risk of plaque build-up in the arteries and decrease triglycerides.

2. Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol.

3. Blueberries, strawberries, and other berries were shown to lower risk of heart attack 32 percent in women aged 25 through 42 who ate more than three servings a week compared with those who ate less.

4. Several studies have shown that dark chocolate (made up of at least 60-70 percent cocoa) may benefit your heart.

5. Tomatoes are high in heart-healthy potassium, and their lycopene may help lower bad cholesterol, keep blood vessels open, and lower heart attack risk.

6. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, and macadamia nuts contain heart-healthy fiber, and their vitamin E helps lower bad cholesterol.

7. Extra-virgin olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce both cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

8. Green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale boost your heart with healthy doses of carotenoids and fiber.

9. Research has found that even two cups of coffee a day could lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke by 30 percent. 

10. Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fats, which may lower heart disease risk factors, such as cholesterol. 

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